E-news November 25, 2016
There are many holiday occasions to celebrate the next few weeks, but I am also looking forward to Senior College resuming January 19. Don’t you feel a letdown when a semester ends? Thursdays at the Hutchinson Center when we are in session are such an electric time. Friends reunite, conversations are animated, everyone is excited about new things to learn or to teach.
Behind the scenes work, however, is ongoing. Dozens of volunteers are getting things ready for the new semester, preparing to teach, ordering supplies, carrying on the work of the Board and our committees. There are many opportunities. Think of it this way. We senior volunteers are not only the students but the faculty and administration as well.
Since the Annual Meeting, the Board has been working on strengthening our financial picture. The Board has accepted recommendations from the Finance Committee for a package of modest initiatives similar to those being undertaken by other Senior Colleges around the state. Beginning in the spring, Senior College will cost a little more, but more assistance will also be available. Our scholarship program will now take into consideration book and materials costs as well as membership and course fees. We don’t want anyone to miss out for financial reasons.
- Beginning spring semester, the class fee for six week courses will increase to $35 from the present $30.
- Beginning spring semester, books and other materials will not be included in the course fees. Students will be responsible for purchasing them separately.
- A Fundraising Committee was established to develop an annual appeal to begin in the fall of 2017. David Beebe and Peter Reilly will head it up.
Thank you once again for supporting Senior College. And do enjoy the holidays even as you look forward to returning to the Hutchinson Center in January.
Are you looking for something to do January 19 to February 9? We have a great selection of courses to entice you to join us for the Winterim session.
Please check the Senior College website after Dec. 5 for the complete list of courses and register early so you don’t miss out on the fun.
New Course for Spring Session
The administration and physicians at Waldo County Hospital are proposing a course in the spring that would comprise 12 one-hour medical presentations (two per day) on a variety of subjects of interest to our members. Please consider this request and let me know by e-mail what topics you would like included – email@example.com.
The Senior College office is in need of volunteers to work in the office one or more Thursdays a month. Office hours are from 10:00 to 1:00 (9:00 to 3:00 when in session). The office is the hub connecting all aspects of Senior College. There is the phone to answer, correspondence to distribute, materials to get ready, questions to answer from people dropping in, documents to prepare.
Please contact Office Manager Elisabeth Pollack at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-338-8033.
Getting to Class
For members who cannot, or prefer not, to drive to the Hutchinson Center, if you live in Belfast (unfortunately not beyond), there is an option to use public transportation provided by WCAP. The cost is $2.00 each way. You must call WCAP, 338-4769, at least 2 business days in advance to schedule the ride. While Senior College is in session, you may set it up as a “subscription” so you wouldn’t have to call and make a reservation every week.
Community Service Committee
This month the Senior College Community Service Committee is involved in planning two initiatives.
Aging Well in Waldo
The CSC Committee voted in September to support Aging Well in Waldo. In the past four months this initiative has gone from a grassroots coalition of area agencies and individuals to a funded entity. Aging Well in Waldo supports seniors, identifies community assets and challenges in Waldo County for people over 50, with a goal of improving life and gaining “Age-Friendly Status” by AARP. Over the summer both Bucksport and Bangor gained this designation joining other designated Maine communities.
To further this work, an assessment will be conducted county-wide. While many seniors will be invited to take this survey online, outside of Belfast and Searsport there is less access to technology. Consequently, Aging Well in Waldo needs:
- Research Assistants – These senior individuals will attend a half-day training session where they will learn to administer a paper and pencil assessment survey, then attend a community gathering within Waldo County to conduct a focus group. Applications for this role can be obtained in the Senior College Office or from Wendy C. Kasten, 207-338-0462, email@example.com. Overall, we need about 25 assistants.
- Note-takers/Recorders – These senior individuals will attend a short training session where they will learn how to both audio record a focus group with common technologies, and take notes during the discussion. After the focus group, the audio notes and written notes will be submitted to the principal investigator. Applications for this role will be available in the Senior College office or from Wendy C. Kasten, 207-338-0462, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research assistants and their partner note-taker/recorder will go as a team, accompanied by a township host from the community to gatherings in outlying towns, such as a bingo game, a quilting circle, a bridge club, a senior luncheon, etc. Local township hosts will generally be from the network of hospice volunteers throughout the county.
Aging Well in Waldo is now funded by Maine AARP, with other grants submitted and expected, and has the endorsement of The Waldo County Commissioners and the Belfast City Council. Waldo County Hospital is acting as the fiscal agent for the study and assisting with data entry.
Read Across America
The Community Service Committee is organizing Read Across America in March, dates and times to be determined. Senior College volunteers will read to elementary aged school children in our area schools. We are looking for volunteers.
Listed below is the list of schools and coordinators for each school. Most schools still need volunteers. Volunteers select a book and read to a class for about 30 minutes. Some volunteers enjoy planning an activity that goes along with the book. Assistance is provided for selecting books and for knowing more about reading aloud to a class. Interested? Email Wendy C. Kasten with your name, phone number, and please let us know if you have experience reading to children ages 5-11. If you have a school preference, you can let us know that, too, email@example.com.
To date, here is the list of schools and coordinators:
Islesboro School: Sue Garrett
Kermit Nickerson Elementary (Swanville): Elsa Chapin
Weymouth Elementary (Morrill): Elsa Chapin
Edna Drinkwater School (Northport): Jewel Rayner
Ames Elememtary (Searsmont): Lila Nation
Captain Albert Stevens (CASS) (Belfast): Cloe Chunn (March 2)
East Belfast School (Belfast): Marje Stickler
Monroe Elementary (Monroe): Marge Sheridan
Appleton School (Appleton): Elisabeth Goodridge
Searsport Elementary (Searsport): Karen Knox
Morse Elementary (Brooks): Kathleen Kearns and Deb Shepherd
Smith School (Winterport): John Economy (March 2)
Lincolnville Central School (Lincolnville): Wendy Kasten (March 2)
Is there a school you think we should also serve? If so, call Wendy C Kasten, 207-338-0462 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
THANKS to all Senior College volunteers who helped assemble and wrap nearly 1,000 interior storm windows for Waldo County residents.